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UNICEF, FG partner on school reopening, COVID-19 advocacy

By NewsDesk,

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Federal Government have disclosed that the duo would be joining forces toward ensuring safe school reopeoning and that all coronavirus safety measures are adhered in schools across the country.

They explained that the collaboration had been made in ensuring measures introduced by relevant stakeholders and health experts to curb spread of coronavirus in the country are not compromised after careful consideration of healthy population to societal development.

UNICEF Education Specialist, Azuka Menkiti, said that the partnership, among others was  formed in ensuring sustained advocacy on the dangers posed by non-adherence to coronavirus safety measures among teachers, students and school communities.

Briefing newsmen yesterday at the sideline of a Zonal Stakeholders Dialogue School Re-Opening Readiness organized by the Federal Government in collaboration with UNICEF in Akwanga, Nasarawa State, Menkiti said that stakeholders must augment the government advocacy drive by taking it further to smaller communities including school environment.  

While soliciting for traditional rulers and relevant stakeholders support in ensuring that the environment was safe for students and teachers, she revealed that the UNICEF has developed a template to ensure safe school resumption.

”We have organised a similar meeting  on Monday for policy makers made up of state commissioners in order to ensure safe school reopening. And today, we are organising this stakeholders dialogue for traditional rulers, SBMC, PTA, NAPPS among others on safe school reopening in order to ensure safety of our children and teachers.

”UNICEF and Federal Government  are committed and working hard in order to ensuring safe school reopening, hence the need for this stakeholer dialogue,” she said.

The UNICEF official said that the meeting was aimed at sharing and reviewing school reopening readiness template and to get the views of stakeholders and their support towards school reopening.

”We are here specifically to share and review the draft school reopening readiness template as adapted from the school reopening guidelines.

”To agree on expected roles and responsibilities at all levels of education governance towards safe return to school. To commit to minimum expectations and standards for safe return to school and to agree on best decisions in learning recovery upon school resumption,” she said.

Mentiki also advocated for the continued use of face masks, frequent hand washing, hand sanitizers by students and teachers among other Nigerians as precautionary measures against COVID-19.

The dialogue had in attendance NCDC, SUBEB, School Basec Management Committee (SBMC), National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS), Parents Teachers Association (PTA), traditional rulers  among others from the North Central zone.

They all lauded UNICEF and the Federal government on safe school reopening initiative while assuring of their support to ensure the safety of students and teachers.

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